Who is Chris Hood?
Hi, I’m Chris Hood, a digital strategist, podcast host, and writer. I love storytelling and have made it an essential part of my career. I’ve always loved escaping into words, sounds, images, and events, to paint a solution for others to experience. It is the primary reason I am a veteran of the digital entertainment industry with more than three decades of working across various mediums, including television, film, music, and video games.
What once started as selling popcorn in a local movie theater and a film student, I found my love for cinema and an endless drive that propelled my career to incredible heights. This included receiving multiple industry awards for theatre marketing campaigns, including the National Association of Theater Owners coveted customer service award and Hollywood Reporter’s grand prize showmanship award three years in a row for Jurassic Park (1993), Wyatt Earp (1994), and Apollo 13 (1995).
Taking “behind-the-scenes” to a new level, I followed my entrepreneurial spirit early on to invent, develop and market a patent-pending digital multimedia advertising and interactive technology platform for movie theatres. The Digireel technology was the first digital cinema advertising and video game program introduced to replace slide-based pre-show entertainment, creating a unique, next-generation advertainment service. Digireel premiered in the summer of 1999 at Cinemapolis movie theatre in Anaheim Hills, California, and was acquired by National Cinema Network a year later. The Digireel technology is the foundation for onscreen advertising seen in theatres nationwide today.
In 2003 I joined the music industry with a small started called Ruckus Network (Ruckus.com). We produced a legal music service for college campuses during Napster’s reign and the RIAA suing college students for music piracy. In 5 years, the company grew and was acquired by a joint venture between Universal Music Group and Sony Music called Total Music. During this venture, I was responsible for designing the first “cloud” based music player called TunePost – before there was a cloud.
No stranger to transforming various industries, my eye for innovation and strategic digital campaigns sparked several executive management stints, including FOX Broadcasting Company. While at Fox, I developed storytelling technologies and innovated new mechanisms for viewers to engage with television content for shows like Glee, Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, and American Idol. My work also included developing TV Everywhere products and building new interactive media to support digital marketing initiatives across multiple media platforms, including Xbox, Playstation, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.
I am an active member and previous chair for the International Game Developers Association, supporting over 20,000 members in Southern California in the video game industry. My passion for games led me to also Co-found Blind Squirrel Games in Orange County, California, in 2009.
In addition, at this time, my expertise garnered the trust and respect of dozens of brands that I continued to deliver digital strategies to, including Universal, Doritos, Reebok, Columbia Pictures, Apigee, Emmys, and more.
Today, as the Head of Business Innovation & Strategy at Google, my thought leadership and strategic insights on digital and business transformation have fueled countless enterprises’ digital success. At Google, I’ve been fortunate enough to keep my pulse on the media and entertainment industry with strategic participation in our industry solutions and developing incredible digital experiences across all of the mediums. I also have the honor of hosting That Digital Show, a weekly business podcast for Google Cloud.
In my free time, I enjoy traveling, watching movies, and working on a fantasy-adventure novel I hope to publish soon. I’m also an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University and Colorado Technical University.
If you would like to learn more about me or speak at an upcoming event, please reach out to me anytime.